Posted on 9/07/11 02:09 AM
It's pure, simple, Predator. It has the blood and the savage nature of the first film flowing freely through it. It was fun, fast (opening=awesome), and lethal. It let's it's characters progress all in the same manner, through mystery. They don't know each other and we don't know them. This really contributed to the feel and tone of the film, It lets the audience be the other survivor.
I was definitely on edge most of the film, due to the fact I didn't know any character that well. They could die at any moment and in any way. When someone did live through an ordeal, I found myself caring a little more about them, even though I didn't know much about them in the first place.
Royce is hardly an access character that anyone can identify with, but as the story progresses, he carries his badass torch around (literally and figuratively) and you concede that you like him simply because he is a badass.
Not getting any deeper into a movie about space aliens hunting humans on an alien game preserve planet*- I will say that this movie was tense and entertaining. It was action filled, and satisfying.
It supports the first movie in the way that it stands beside it very well and at the same time stands completely opposite it.
Whereas Arnold has to transform from man to predator to beat the baddie in the first film, Adrian has to transform from predator to man, a much more involving and sacrificial change in my book. This concept is handled very well, and I think gives the movie it's potential staying power. (in addition to the great acting, tension and action)
-*got deeper :(
Posted on 9/06/11 04:30 AM
The saving grace of this film would lie solely on it's action, however, despite being visually enjoyable, it joins the rest of the movie in being lifeless and laughable.
The film's script--when teamed with the film's actors, had no problem taking down any shred of hope M. Night had as a good, big name director. He is not purely at fault, but if I were him, I wouldn't have touched this in the first place, so that's what he gets. The pacing of the film is awful, the editing is bad, the camerawork is bad, the directing is bad, the whole film is sub-par even considering my expectations.
This film gets a 1/10 purely based on the fact that the effects were well done and the sets were designed with a great film in mind. They just ended up being designed around a script that should have been shredded and rewritten entirely.
Posted on 9/06/11 04:29 AM
Wow. This movie truly scared the living crap out of me. I have never been terrified to the point in a film where a single moment causes me to bring both feet off of the floor of the theater, grip my armrests firmly, and violently push away from the screen, immediately followed within milliseconds by a reach for the closest person, and in the next second or two a resettling back to my only partially creeped out state. This movie has you laugh and love with its protagonists. Then makes you stay with them through a convincing and terrifying ordeal that will make you have nightmares for days. It's amazing what this film did with around 11-15 thousand dollars. The sheer fact that this film is as effective as it is and done with only that amount(nothing in hollywood) is reason enough to see the film even if you are wary of horror films or even if you end up hating it. You have to appreciate what is accomplished with this movie. Shot in a week, in his own house (I PROMISE you even if I made this, I would move), with an unknown cast, and a brilliant use of the dreaded handheld method, it was a great achievement. Forget The Blair Witch Project, forget Quarantine, forget Cloverfield, this is the way a handheld filmed movie should be, for lack of a better pun, handled. Horror fan or not, this is a bit of pop culture, that upon it's wider release, which is coming soon, you must see, if you don't want people to think you have been living under a rock. My brother has seen it twice, and it has scared him both times, so this film seems to have a bit of staying power as well. OH, and the tagline is true to it's word, do NOT, if you can help it, see this alone. I will leave you with this, and TRY to go to bed, that is...if no one pulls me out of my slumber... ;) If you want to understand that one, SEE IT! DO IT NOW! OR...WHEN YOU CAN!
Posted on 9/06/11 04:29 AM
Short, choppy, and disconnected. With action scenes that feel forced and actors that are way below their abilities, Jonah Hex is a hollow 80 minutes that no one seems to be having fun in. Josh Brolin does what he can and plays Hex well. However, the events that culminate in the film's ending just seem to be rushed together parts of the original script, which in this case it seems was greatly misinterpreted by the replacement director for Neveldine/Taylor. Also, Megan Fox is pretty attractive in it.
Posted on 8/26/10 01:18 AM
The Wolfman was at the best visually striking, however due to poor writing by two fairly good writers, David Self(Road to Perdition) and Andrew Kevin Walker(Se7en), it falls flat. This is due in large part to me not caring about anyone in the movie or what happens to them.
Joe Johnston is a notable contributor to my childhood movie experiences, and consequently, is a major part of my current pursuit into the world of filmmaking. He has consistently permeated my childhood with films that I grew up loving such as:
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
He also, before those films, worked on some of my STILL favorite films, Raiders of the Lost Ark and the original Star Wars Trilogy as a Visual Effects/Art Direction guy.
So I like Joe.
BUT... this film wasn't a great step for him. All of his films are larger than life adventure films. This one was better suited for a different helmsman. While it is visually striking, the writing was sub-par, the acting just decent (no excuse, look at the cast!!), and the directing just....well....good.
Where this film falters most is not in its actors or in its directing, but the story.
All the elements are there, but they don't matter, I simply can't feel or love any of the characters. I hated one(you'll see him and understand) but other than that, they were very shallow. I have one element of storytelling I understand to be consistently true with movies that deal with fantastic or supernatural elements, namely sci-fi or fantasy. That is the fact that no matter how rich your world is in these movies that are, for lack of a better word, impossible, you have to have characters that people care about in order for them to accept the world that the character is in. In this instance "impossible" means a world where people turn in to werewolves, fight with lightsabers, or fight a war against ugly things called orcs. I did not love these characters and this is the type of film that, without that element to the story, it serves itself as what it is, a visually exciting, cheap thrill horror film directed by someone better suited to directing a PG-13 action adventure film.
The gore hurt the film. I usually will never say that, but I wanted to see a creeping and hunting Wolfman, I wanted to feel the tension build and anticipate the violence, and then be struck by horrific images of the beast tearing apart someone (even including some of the gore). Resulting in the allusion to the fact that, no matter what, the beast will take over. Instead, I was shown all of the violence. It left nothing to imagine, which in this case, the "what COULD have been" that I would have imagined would have been much scarier.
It has a delightful feel of camp throughout, almost like a dusting, and it is fairly tastefully applied. However, that feeling, along with the brilliant art direction, and the good ol' Universal feeling of a Blockbuster, only serve as a wonderful white icing on top of a secretly burnt cake.
I want to also make a quick comment or two about specific things:
The editing, at least in the beginning, and definitely during the conversations felt choppy and uninspired.
The asylum sequence is the best part of the entire film, and saved me from completely not caring about Lawrence.
I appreciate the fact that Lawrence's non english accent was explained.
Hugo Weaving is in total Agent Smith mode for at least two scenes.
I wanted to really, really, like this movie. However, it fell flat on some fronts. It's not terrible by any means, so it deserves a positive review, even though I wanted it to be more than it was.
Posted on 7/16/10 02:01 PM
In what is becoming a trademark, Christopher Nolan throws the audience headfirst into his world. No credits, just Cobb (DiCaprio) washed up on a beach with no explanation.
I won't tell you anymore, it's explained, so, the less you know, the better. This movie is made for a personal interpretation, a personal experience, and the less you know about the world beforehand, the more the story takes you in.
This film is perhaps an entirely unique experience, much like Nolan's other film, "Memento" (which is great) he creates a complex way of manipulating time and place within a film. All the while, however, he maintains his ability to present the structure in a way that is, at the very foundation, understandable to most through pictures and words. Don't get me wrong, you have to listen, learn, and watch, to fully understand what's going on. Every minute of the 2 1/2 hours is there for a good reason, none of it is wasted. The structure of the team, structure of the dreams, even the structure of the movie itself, and how they tie together, is all woven very finely together in a nice warm smooth blanket. It's a big blanket though, and if you don't put some effort into it, it will just cover you up and you'll be in the darkness, lost, in limbo. ;)
This film operates on so many different levels figuratively and literally, that the end of the film is more tense than anything I've seen in a long, long time.
It's hard to describe.
What I can say is, it works emotionally, it works intellectually, it just works. With some great action, great acting, and great directing, this movie is at least on the surface, slick and polished. That hopefully will grab those not interested in having anything planted in their mind. The special effects are also amazing, the dreams in the film are great, and the whole concept of the dreamworld as the characters use it is utilized to the full extent through the effects, which like I said, are great, great, great.
Christopher Nolan is fast becoming one of the "new masters" of cinema, and Inception is just the thing that he needs to bring to the table to show that the game can still be changed and enhanced. This film will most likely win an Oscar for the editing at the very least.
I know this review maybe very vague, but that's how it needs to be. This is a great film, and if you liked the Dark Knight, you'll at least like this a little (most likely alot).
This complex caper is a rarity in film, it succeeds on nearly every level. Aside from the hiccup pushing aside it's supporting casts' characters and their backgrounds, it overcomes any flaws with such flying colors in other departments, you can't start to care. It's smart, it's fun, it's entertainment at it's finest. I'm seeing it more than once.
Definitely go to see it if you like:
The Dark Knight
Anything with Leonardo DiCaprio in it.
Science Fiction films.
If you're iffy, catch a matinee, but I believe it's at least worth a try.
I apologize in advance for typos I'm very tired.
Posted on 7/14/10 06:26 PM
Despite my few issues with the structure of the narrative, as well as it sometimes failing to hit the hit the heavy/correct notes concerning emotional structure in the beginning, It was engaging and witty.
Despicable Me strums a few "aww" chords and hits the funny bone enough on beat to make me dance along without a problem. While it lacks the deeper emotional investment that permeates through the veins of Pixar films, ( fanboy alert ;) ) it does have a heart, and manages to blend great animation, action, voice actors, and comedy into a family-friendly caper.
The journey is taken, and in the end, you love Gru,the minions, and the girls. Character is what drives this film, and loving a character, (and seeing them discover love for themselves) is never a bad thing. This film can easily put a smile on the grimmest of faces. Even if only one smile, one time, but I suspect that won't be the case.
Posted on 6/20/10 11:50 PM
Fun at the movies. Everything you'd want from a crazy summer action film, delivered in an easy to swallow way. The film never takes itself too seriously, and Sharlto Copley is super entertaining. Every character in the film is lovable and wholly loveable. Despite the expected plot revelations, the action scenes were well done, and the feeling of a "plan" in everything was a great aspect to experience. The charm and friendship of the characters helps root the silliest of films onto some emotional level with the audience, and that's what this film gets right. It goes wild from there, and you don't mind the ride at all.
Posted on 6/20/10 11:50 PM
A perfect movie, it honors tradition without being stale. It's a bit dark and may scare younger kids, however the older kids will love it. It is a wholly entertaining film that caters to kids and adults on a scale that Pixar has become famous for. It brings emotions to the surface and a sense of nostalgia on many levels. Whether you grew up with Toy Story(like me), or you grew up with toys like the ones in the film, it speaks to your inner child.
The bonds of friendship and love, and the concept of loss and heartbreak are presented in a way that is so hard to find in cinema today; that even if Toy Story 3 were a disaster of a film, we couldn't realize it.
Filled with a sense of adventure, as well as the deeper concepts of dealing with change and getting older(among others), this film excels in potentially stirring emotions, good and bad, out of anyone that crosses its path. Most everyone has been a Woody or an Andy in some form or fashion in their life. It's great that there are Filmmakers today who understand that.
Posted on 4/16/10 03:22 PM
While I cannot offer a comment on the authenticity of its conversion from comic to film, I can offer a veteran movie lover's opinion on this film as it stands on its own. It is a fast, fun, (emotional?), unapologetically violent, and hilariously witty film. It is a fantastic representation of the desires that permeate the current American youth.
You feel as if violence, profanity, and angst are all rolled into a oddly shaped spiked and flaming ball, and thrown at your face. The levels of emotional states that you experience with the characters is fantastic, and otherwise unheard of in a film that markets itself as this one has. I knew to expect a BA 12 year old cutting drug dealer's faces off, as well as a bit of decently funny humor thrown in for good measure. I expected to leave the theater fairly satisfied, and maybe with a few good action sequences stored in my brain.
However, I left with all aspects of my moviegoing self feeling thoroughly overjoyed. I got what I expected, and so much more. When I leave the theater with more than I expected, I know something great was just on screen. I got a story, I got likable characters all around, I got baddies that I hated, I got subplots. **Potential spoiler below.
Every aspect of this film was well done, from action to acting, camera to character, this film takes what should be a silly film, mates it with a great film, and pops out a weird violent baby that fails to be either or, but succeeds by standing on it's own. It gives to us something that can be fun, exciting, silly, and smart, all at once.
**I also got the shockingly effective and surprisingly emotional death of one character that is so well done, and socially relevant, I almost looked away from it. However, if you have seen it, you know it is one of the best sequences in the film, and doing so is impossible.